« VorigeDoorgaan »
though old times were to return again. I looked round involuntarily, expecting to see some face I knew; but all was naked and mute. The bed was gone. My little pane of painted window, through which I loved to look at the sun, when I awoke in a fine summer's morning, was taken out, and had been replaced by one of common glass.
I visited by turns every chamber; they were all desolate and unfurnished, one excepted, in which the owner had left a harpsichord, probably to be sold: I touched the keys; I played some old Scottish tunes, which had delighted me when a child. Past associations revived with the music; blended with a sense of unreality, which at last became too powerful, I rushed out of the room to give vent to my feelings.
I wandered, scarce knowing where, into 4 an old wood. that stands at the back of the house ; we called it the Wilderness. A well-known form was missing that used to meet me in this place: it was thine, Ben Moxam, the kindest, gentlest, politest of human beings, yet was he nothing higher than a gardener in the family. Honest creature, thou didst never pass me in my childish rambles without a soft speech and a smile. I remember thy good-natured face. But there is one thing for which I can never forgive thee,5 Ben Moxam, that thou didst join with an old maiden aunt of mine in a 6 cruel plot to lop away the hanging branches of the old fir-trees. I remember them sweeping to the ground.?
I have often left my childish sports to ramble in this place; its glooms and its solitude had a mysterious charm for my young mind, nurturing within me that love of quietness and lonely thinking, which have accompanied me to maturer years.
1 See page 17, note 8, and page pose). 22, note 13.-'as though,' que. . 4 'I wandered .... into,' Après were to ;' see page 79, note .- avoir erré ....j'entrai dans. return; see page 264, note 9. 5 See page 115, note ?..
2 When e.ccepté follows the noun, 6'it is that . . . . an old maiden it agrees with it both in gender aunt of mine (une vieille tante fille and number ; when preceding the à moi) in the (page 87, note 2). noun, it remains invariable.
Il me semble que je les vois eno 3 non-réalité (coined for the pur- core se balancer en rasant le sol.
In this Wilderness I found myself after a ten years' absence. Its stately fir-trees were yet standing, with all their luxuriant company of underwood : the squirrel was there, andl the melancholy cooings of the wood-pigeon ; all was as I had left it; my heart softened at the sight; it seemed, as though my character had been suffering a change since I forsook these shades.
My parents 2 were both dead; I had no counsellor left, no experience of age to direct me, no sweet voice of reproof. The Lord had taken away my friends, and I knew not where he had laid them. I paced round the wilderness, seeking a comforter. I prayed, that I might be restored to that state of innocence in which I had wandered in those shades.
Methought my request was heard ; for it seemed as though the stains of manhood were passing from me, and I were relapsing into the purity and simplicity of childhood. I was content to have been moulded into a perfect child.4 I stood still as in a trance. I dreamed that I was enjoying a personal intercourse with my heavenly Father, and, extravagantly,5 put off the shoes from my feet; for the place where I stood, I thought, was holy ground.
This state of mind could not last long, and I returned, with languid feelings, to my inn. I ordered my dinner, green peas and a sweetbread : it bad been a favourite dish with me in my childhood; I was allowed to have it on my birth-days. I was impatient to see it come upon table ; but, when it came, I could scarce eat a mouthful ; my tears choked me. I called for 6 wine; I drank a pint and a half? of red wine, and not till then had I
1 et aussi.--'cooings ;' use the deux parents simply means 'two singular, that the ellipsis (of 'was relatives.' there,' already expressed, rather 3 car on eat dit que,- to avoid than of were there,' not expressed too frequent repetitions. before) may be correct.
4 J'aurais bien voulu revêtir ? "My father and my mother.' toutes les formes, tous les attributs Translate so on account of both,' d'un enfant. which follows: for the same reason 5 by an exaggeration of the that we do not use parent in the fancy.' singular, in this sense (see page 6.I asked.' 69, note 11), we cannot say eitheri See page 4, note 17. deux parents in the same sense,
dared tol visit the churchyard, where my parents were interred.
The cottage lay in? my way. Margaret had chosen it for that very reason, to be near the church ; for the old lady was regular in her attendance on public worship. I passed on, and in a moment found myself among the tombs.
I had been present at my father's burial, and knew the spot again; my mother's funeral I was prevented by illness from attending :4 a plain stone was placed over the grave, with their initials carved upon it, for they both occupied one grave.
I prostrated myself before the spot; I kissed the earth that covered them ; I contemplated with gloomy delight the time wben I should mingle my dust with theirs, and kneeled, with my arms incumbent on the grave-stone, in a kind of mental prayer : for I could not speak.
Having performed these duties, I arose with quieter feelings, and felt leisure to attend to indifferent objects. Still I continued in the churchyard, reading the various inscriptions, and moralizing upon them with that kind of levity which will not unfrequently spring up in the mind in the midst of deep melancholy. I read of nothing buti careful parents, loving husbands, and dutiful children. I said jestingly, where be all the bad people 8 buried ? Bad parents, bad husbands, bad children, what cemeteries are
1 "and it was only then that I page 89 (the present case, however, dared to go.'
is within the rule). The above
mentioned exception with regard to 3 Je continuai ma route ; or, Je tout, takes place :-1st, when tout is passai outre.
the only adjective which precedes, . 4 Remember that this construc- as tous (masc.) les gens; and, 2nd, tion is not French.
when tout, though not being the 5 6upon it,' dessus.
only adjective preceding, is coupled 6 not unfrequently,' assez sou with another adjective which has vent.--'will ;' see page 45, note 4. the same termination for both gen
7 On n'y faisait mention que de. ders, as tous (masc.) les habiles gens,
8 Où toutes les méchantes gens tous (masc.) les jeunes gens;- but sont-ils donc. See page 89, note we must say, as above, toutes (fem.) 10. When the adjective iout pre- les méchantes gens, as the adjective cedes gens, it sometimes forms, by méchant (masc.) has a different terbeing put in the masculine, an ex- mination (méchante) in the femi. ception to the rule mentioned at nine.
appointed for these ? do they not sleep in consecrated ground? or is it but a pious fiction, a generous oversight, in the survivors, which thus tricks out? men's epitaphs when dead,” wbo, in their life-time, discharged the offices of life, perhaps, but lamely? Their failing, with their reproaches, now sleep with them in the grave. Man wars not with the dead. It is a trait of human nature, for which I love it. 3—(CHARLES LAMB, Rosamund Gray.)
ON FORMING A TASTE FOR 4 SIMPLE
PLEASURES. THE simple and innocent satisfactions of nature are usually within reach; and, as they excite no violent perturbation in the pursuit, so are they enjoyed without tumult, and relinquished without long or painful regret. It will, then, render essential service, both to happiness and morality, if we can persuade men in general to taste and to contract an habitual relish for the genuine satisfactions of uncorrupted nature.
The young mind is always delighted with rural scenery, The earliest poetry was pastoral, and every juvenile poet of the present day delights to indulge in the luxuriance of a rural description. A taste for these pleasures will render the morning walk at least as delightful as the evening assembly. The various forms which nature assumes 5 in the vicissitudes of the seasons constitute a source of complacency which can never be exhausted. How grateful to the senses is the freshness of the herbage, the fragrancy of the flowers, and all those simple delights of the field, which the poets have, from the earliest ages, no less justly than exuberantly described! “It is all6 mere fiction,” exclaims the man of the world, “ the painting of a visionary enthusiast.” He feels not, he cannot feel, their truth. He sees no charms in herbs and blossoms; the melody of the grove is no music to his ear;2 and this happens because he has lost by his own fault those tender sensibilities which nature had bestowed. They are still daily perceived in all their perfection by the ingenuous and innocent, and they have been most truly described by feeling poets, as contributing to pure, real, and exalted delight.
1 orne, or pare, or décore. qui me font l'aimer).
2 when dead; see page 29, 4 'On the formation of the taste note 9.-who,' thus placed ; see of.' page 14, note 5.
5 Use revêtir. . C'est un des traits de la nature 6 “All that is but.' kumaine qui font que je l'aime (or,
Yet the possessor of extensive lands, if he is a man of fashion and spirit, forsakes the sweet scenes of rural nature, and shuts himself up in a crowded metropolis, and leaves that liberal air, which breathes over his lawns and agitates his forests, to be inhaled by his menial rustics.3 He perverts the designs of nature and despises the hereditary blessings of Providence; he receives the adequate punishment in a restless life, perpetually seeking, and never finding, satisfaction. But the employments of agriculture, independently of their profit, are most congenial and pleasing to human nature. An uncorrupted mind sees, in the progress of vegetation, and in the manner and excellences of those animals which are destined to our immediate service, such charms and beauties as art can seldom produce. Husbandry may be superintended by an elegant mind; nor is it by any means necessary that they who engage in it should contract a coarseness of manners or a vulgarity of sentiment. It is most favourable to health, to plenty, to repose, and to innocence; and great, indeed, must be the objects which justify a reasonable creature in relinquishing these. Are plays, are balls, are nocturnal assemblies of whatever denomination, which tend to rob us of sleep, to lessen our patrimony, to injure our health, to render us selfish, vicious, thoughtless, and useless, equivalent to these? Reason replies in the negative ;4 yet the almost universal departure from innocence
i See page 18, note 4.
haled (à, and the infinitive active) 2 he is deaf-i.e., dead, insen- by (a) his menial rustics that, sible—(sourd) to the melody ... &c.
4 in the negative,' par une 3 Turn, and leaves to be in- négation; or, négativement.